Home shopping via your TV can be a fun and convenient way to get shopping done without changing out of your pajamas. But if you’re not careful it can lead to a downward spiral of credit card debt hell within one hour. Follow these tips for make the most out of your home shopping experience without killing yourself financially and you’ll be good to go.
- Here’s a hint: While the shopping channel may only feature the item during the 1 hour TV showing, often times the product is still available on their websites for the same price days, even months after the original TV airing. Ignore that little clock in the bottom right corner saying you only have 3 minutes left and keep it moving. We learned this with our first GPS purchase. Those extra couple of days gave us time to make sure we really needed the item, it was actually a good deal and most important within our budget.
- While it’s tempting to get the Today’s Special before all the quantities run out, do your research first. Read the customer reviews on their channel’s website and then find an external review system to make sure the product is something that will actually hold up. You might even find that same item is cheaper with a better warranty elsewhere.
- STAY AWAY FROM THE FLEXIBLE PAYMENTS OPTION! It’s tempting to think that you can just pay off that new computer with 6 flexible payments, but in the long run you’ll end up paying more in interest on your credit card. If you can’t afford to buy it all at one time, step away from the remote control and turn the channel!
- Sure, many of the home shopping channels have return policies. But who wants to drag a 42″ flat screen back to UPS because you didn’t like the picture quality? If you have the time and the item is available, go to your local electronics store and “test” out the product you’re looking at online. That way you’ll find out in advance if you actually like it or not.
- Do you really need that new laptop just because it’s “the lowest price of the season?” Guess what, next week the announcer will claim the same thing next month…we’re just saying.
- Last, but not least…learn to step away from the TV. Seriously. Sometimes we make impulse buying decisions because we’re emotional, jealous, or quite frankly bored and not out of an actual need. Train yourself to think about that credit debt you want to pay off, the house you want to buy, the child you want to send to college and the business you want to self-fund. Keeping these financial goals in your mind before whipping out that credit card will help you make better decisions about your financial future.
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